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Daniel Craig reveals his fitness regime for Bond - drinking Guinness

06-Nov-2006 • Casino Royale

Daniel Craig narrows his startlingly blue eyes as he recalls the rough ride he had in his first weeks as superspy James Bond.

“The first couple of days of filming were very nerve-racking,” he reveals. “We started off with a fight sequence which I had been rehearsing for two weeks.

“I had to go and get thumped, thump people, throw people through windows, shoot guns.

“I was thrown in at the deep end — and that was probably the best way to do it.

“There was something in the papers about me getting a tooth cap knocked out, which I did.

“It was strange because I thought, ‘Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be!’

“I just had it stuck back in and we carried on like nothing had happened.

“It was a question of trying to hit the ground running, and I think we did that.”

Superfit Daniel started to prepare for Casino Royale before he even landed the role. In the film, the 38-year-old actor looks amazingly well toned, sporting a six-pack and bulging biceps.

He recalls: “I started training for the film when I knew there was a possibility I might get the part.

“I thought, ‘I’ll start trying to get myself fit anyway and even if it doesn’t come off I’ll live another year.’ Referring to his work filming the tough action sequences, he adds: “If I hadn’t done it early I don’t think I’d have survived.” But Daniel’s tough fitness regime is strictly for weekdays — he insists that the weekend is reserved for having a few pints.

He jokes: “I’m not obsessive about fitness. I work out three or four times a week but I take the weekends off and drink as much Guinness as I can get down my neck.”

Casino Royale, which opens on November 16, sees Bond doing some death-defying leaps, with Daniel trying to do as many of his own stunts as possible.

He says: “Obviously there is stuff that I don’t have the skills for but I’m desperate to do as much as I can, stunt-wise.

“We did a thing where I was shot into the air, and I’m not great with heights.

“But it was a piece of . . . It’s definitely getting better. These challenges come up and it’s about conquering them.”

Like any good spy, Daniel did his research carefully — in this case, watching the entire back catalogue of 007 films.

He says: “I’ve got the box set and I went through them religiously. Some are great movies and any film-maker would be lying if they said they didn’t copy off people, because you have to.

“I just wanted to go through them all. There was stuff that all of them did that were their little keys and you go, ‘Oh that’s cute, the way they did that.’ ”

Chester-born Daniel became the victim of negative stories on the internet after getting the role, and he says: “Some of it was maybe valid but most of it was name-calling. It was like playground stuff. I’d be lying if I said I ignored it all. And it’s that horrible thing with the internet — it’s like a drug we’ve got in the front room.

“We might use it for sensible things some of the time but there’s always an hour in our lives where we just end up looking at rubbish.”

The taunts on the web only motivated Daniel to make a brilliant film. He says: “I always wanted to make a great movie but when things started happening online it gave me a resolve.

“It was like, ‘We’ve got no choice now — we have to make the best movie we can.’ In fact it spurred me on.”

To many movie fans, Daniel had already proved he had immense talent in such films as the Oscar-nominated Munich and Brit flick Layer Cake, which followed on from the popular TV series Our Friends In The North.

Casino Royale is based on the first Bond novel by 007 author Ian Fleming, which was published in 1953.

However, the producers of the new movie decided to change the enemy from communists, as the idea now seems dated.

The chief villain’s name, Le Chiffre, stays the same, although now his only motivation is making money.

Daniel reckons it would have been a mistake to give Bond’s enemies political motives and says: “It’s foolish to get involved with too much politics.

“But you can’t help having an eye on the world outside. What I find interesting is that with the world at the moment we’re not really sure who the bad guy is and that is what I think Bond does — he sort of clarifies that position a little.

“With Bond we know who the bad guy is and he’s going to go after him and get him. The bad guys in this movie are non-political and non-religious, but we do have terrorism and bombing.”

Casino Royale ends a little abruptly, with the odd question unanswered — such as who is behind the film’s complex plot.

But Daniel says: “We don’t know who the top man is yet. We will hopefully find out in the next movie.”

The actor is already signed up to star in that film, the 22nd official Bond movie, which has already been given a release date — November 7, 2008.

The James Bond movies have proved to be the most successful franchise in cinema history — and Daniel is fully aware that he cannot afford to mess up this home-grown institution.

He says: “It’s a particularly British movie we are doing here. It’s Britishn talent producing something special.

“It’s going to give Bond fans — and believe me, I’m careful about that because I know what it means to them — it’s going to give them what they want.”

Thanks to `Dog Bond` for the alert.

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